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Old 07-16-2009, 02:35 PM   #1
chigurh8
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Question A question for people who have used both Slackware and Arch.


If you've had experience with Slackware and Arch (or others that are similar), why do you prefer Slackware to any other?
 
Old 07-16-2009, 03:06 PM   #2
pixellany
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I think the only real similarity with these two is that they are both vying for the #10 spot on the distrowatch hit list. For the past 6 months, it's Slackware #13, and Arch #11. For the last 30days, Slack was up to #9. (Arch seems to be always #11.....)

Arch:
Rolling release, latest of everything (whether you want it or not)
starts minimal
really good package management**
offers streamlined versions of KDE (both 3.5.x and 4.x.x) was called kdemod---now part of Chakra
I have personally had problems with recent installs---have not had time to research them

Slackware:
Incremental release, conservative, aims for total stability
starts with lots of stuff (3 CDs), with all manner of advice on how to pare it down
defaults to NO package manager** (No matter how much I might like Slackware, I do not agree with their position on this.)


Other than that, no difference......

**When I say package management, I mean the real, dependency-checking thing you find in all of the good "full-service" distros.
 
Old 07-16-2009, 03:32 PM   #3
chigurh8
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I've only read up a little on Slackware, but I only have 2 CDs to spare ... The only reason I haven't downloaded it. The only package management I've had experience with is using apt-get/synaptics, rpm using Fedora and OpenSUSE/YaST, and portage (which I like a lot.) I really like Gentoo, but I haven't used a distribution like Slackware or Arch yet ... I've been thinking about something do-it-yourself besides Gentoo. I'm surprised, since I registered here, how many people are in the Slackware forum. I've read it's a very good distribution and widely used, but I didn't expect it to be nearly as popular as it is in these forums. Also surprised by how few are in the Arch forum. I under-over-estimated.
 
Old 07-16-2009, 03:34 PM   #4
chigurh8
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My only complaint whatsoever about Gentoo is the amount of time it takes.
 
Old 07-16-2009, 03:48 PM   #5
bgeddy
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Quote:
Also surprised by how few are in the Arch forum.
To be honest - that is probably down to Arch hosting a forum here.

I am a long term Slackware user and have also used Arch. I much prefer Slackware's reliability, release cycles and comprehensive application inclusion over Arch. I installed Arch in a VM as I had heard a lot of good things about it. The initial install was - by my standards - very sparse. No X, no DE, no WM, etc., etc. These are things I use every day and don't want to have to figure out how to install and setup. Installing KDE was a long winded job and never actually worked right. I finally completely blew up my installation by trying a complete system upgrade with pacman. It then forever hung up on boot up. No doubt if I was more experienced in the distro I could have fixed this but I withdrew !

Slackware starts of with everything I need and I just do a full install. I can then trim this down if needs be. It's also completely stable as nothing potentially damaging is released - Slackware doesn't have rolling releases.

I don't wish to slag off Arch as it's undoubtedly a good distribution. I just find Slackware suits me much better. There are other reasons too but I don't wish to make this post horrendously long.
 
Old 07-16-2009, 05:44 PM   #6
botnet
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Stability.

Of all the distributions I have used, Slackware is the most stable. Arch is a nice distro, I like the minimal approach and I like the binary package management. I used Gentoo for almost two years prior to switching to Slackware and eventually became just too annoyed with the maintenance required in keeping a Gentoo system up to date. Arch requires less maintenance than Gentoo, but has the same misfortune of using the latest everything without thorough enough testing. I've never used Debian Stable, but have used practically every other "major" *nix flavor around and at this point, Slackware is my preferred GNU/Linux distribution for it's simplicity and stability. Also noteworthy to the minimalists, you don't have to install everything off the dvd/cd's, but it is available at least.
 
Old 07-16-2009, 05:49 PM   #7
sahko
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The only advantages Arch has over Slackware is that
1) it offers much more software in binary form. That can be a big plus especially if you need many more applications than the ones part of Slackware.
2) contacting upstream is much easier (mailing lists, bug tracker etc)

For me personally the reasons Slackware often gets criticized for are its biggest advantages.
It has much superior package management (comparing all other ones i have tried)
It has centralized development. Yes that is mostly an advantage. The system structure, the way packages are built actually makes sense & quality control is guaranteed. Which doesn't happen always in Arch.

In general i don't think that Arch is that close to Slackware. Besides using Sysvinit and not applying that many patches (which is debatable eg. Arch applies a patch for booting from EXT4 on GRUB that even Fedora doesn't dare to apply) they are totally different distributions. IMO Arch today has much more in common with Debian than anything else, and will get closer in the future. But of course, it's a unique distribution with many elements from Crux ( starts with a barebones system, /etc/rc.conf etc..).

Last edited by sahko; 07-16-2009 at 05:56 PM.
 
Old 07-16-2009, 05:50 PM   #8
chigurh8
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I haven't read this ... what is the minimal installation? I have two CD's to spare right now, I would like to use only one. Would that be possible?
 
Old 07-16-2009, 06:02 PM   #9
pixellany
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I don't get the part about "only 2 CDs to spare" Blank CDs are dirt cheap---less than US$.50 each.

Are you in an area where such things are hard to get?
 
Old 07-16-2009, 06:02 PM   #10
gargamel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chigurh8 View Post
[...]The only package management I've had experience with is using apt-get/synaptics, rpm using Fedora and OpenSUSE/YaST, and portage (which I like a lot.) I really like Gentoo, but I haven't used a distribution like Slackware or Arch yet ... I've been thinking about something do-it-yourself besides Gentoo. [...]

You might find these interesting:
T2
Linux from Scratch

Regarding Slackware: The biggest advantage is that it is so well maintained by a small team of highly skilled people. It just works.

gargamel
 
Old 07-16-2009, 06:11 PM   #11
chigurh8
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LFS ... I looked at the site, but didn't read for long enough to see if I knew enough to do it without spending some time reading first. T2 I haven't heard of. It looks good. Thanks for the links.
I've seen a lot of good opinions on Slackware, but I haven't had time to read a lot about it yet. I thought they'd have a Live CD or something, similar to Gentoo.
 
Old 07-16-2009, 06:26 PM   #12
Bruce Hill
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If you've had experience with Hanes* and Fruit of the Loom* (or others that are similar), why do you prefer Hanes* to any other?

* = Linux, Windows, MacOS, AIX, Sun, Solaris, BSD, HP-UX, KDE, Gnome, vi, vim, emacs, elvis, joe, pico, nano, sed, awk, bash, C, C++, Python, Lisp, Scheme, Alice, Squeak

Sorry, I just could not resist!
 
Old 07-16-2009, 06:39 PM   #13
bgeddy
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Well there's LFS ,CLFS and DIY Linux. Then there's Gentoo with it's oddly named emerge facility. I have done them all and they all take time. In fact quite some time the first run through. Yes they teach you a lot though. When you have done LFS/CLFS you can go on to BLFS which again takes a while. The LFS also have the ALFS branch - the automated branches which are interesting too. Every flavour has a slightly different way of building a system and all are very instructional.

The thing is building an entire fully featured distribution like Slackware would take ages and be very difficult with all the builds to coordinate. Although I definitely recommend DIY/LFS's as a learning exercise. All the above will be an education in building a distribution - Slackware, however, just works. Both are valid for their own reasons.
 
Old 07-16-2009, 06:45 PM   #14
chigurh8
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Well, I'm off topic now ... but what you're describing is what I've really been thinking of. I want to learn a lot, and have been thinking of the best way to do so.
I've also been thinking of trying a new distribution, and having more distribution CDs laying around ... figured Slackware sounded like it had a little of both. I've only been using Linux since early this year, but I've been spending a lot of time on it.
I'm very happy to be off of Windows.

Last edited by chigurh8; 07-16-2009 at 06:47 PM.
 
Old 07-16-2009, 06:55 PM   #15
bugman5
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slackware is easy to get going, despite baseless rumors to the contrary

things like arch and tinycore leave me wishing for a blindfold and a cigarette
 
  


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